The Difference between Climate Change and Cryptocurrencies

The Difference between Climate Change and Cryptocurrencies

Last Friday, hordes of protesters all around the world took to the streets demanding governments to combat climate change. Why they don’t just do it themselves is a mystery to me.

I suppose it’s only natural for children to demand everything is done for them. Appealing to a higher authority than their parents probably makes them feel grown up…

But what about the adults in the crowd? Shouldn’t they set a better example than asking politicians to solve problems?

The amount of time and effort people put into protesting about climate change, and designing ways to influence others to combat climate change, could just be put into combating climate change instead…

I mean, how much CO2 was generated by the protest? How much is generated by climate change conferences? How much could’ve been offset if all that time and effort went into doing something useful like planting trees instead?

One clever blogger counted the number of plastic bottles purchased by Friday’s protestors in one city in Australia. He even caught a Greens senator carrying around such a turtle murdering device.

One protestor in the UK had a tiny sign which read ‘use less paper’. I wonder what those who had made huge banners thought about it. They were happily standing behind her, holding their symbolic deforestation devices high…

I wonder whether celebrities would fly their private jets less often if movie fans paid attention to their travel schedules. And if those arriving on private jets to attend climate protests were called out as hypocrites instead of being glorified, would they still go?

What if people purchased products based on the emissions levels of the companies behind them? And punished polluters by not buying their products?

Not that it’s always clear who’s who. The UK government’s diesel debacle showed that nicely. They subsidised diesel vehicles under the assumption they pollute less. It turns out, they pollute more…


These days, the same vehicles that were once subsidised are now taxed in the low emission zones of London. Oops if you bought one. That’s what you get for believing in political solutions.

This is also a great example of what happens when climate change protesters are successful in demanding a government policy. It ends up increasing pollution. That’s what you get for asking politicians to solve problems.

And it looks like electric cars are next, with their heavily polluting parts hitting the news cycle lately too.

Protesters are all talk and no action

But my point is, the protesters are all talk and no action. Which is ironic given they accuse politicians of the same thing.

I remember one of the few campaigners who actually does try to combat climate change in her personal life pondering this question: ‘What if we all changed our ways instead of constantly demanding others do so?’

Strangely enough, she was my Energy and Resources Law lecturer at university. And let’s just say she had a very ‘rip and reap’ manner.

Still, she told us that when she changed energy providers to ‘walk the walk’ and go green on here electricity at home, her new power company was shocked and confused by the notion that she wanted to pay more for green energy.

They’d only been offering it as a token marketing tool that nobody actually took up in the privacy of their own home…virtue signalling only works when you’re in public.

That was quite few years ago. Plenty more people source green energy now. Some companies make it a default option.

But the fact that we still burn huge amounts of coal suggests a lack of change overall. I mean, if we all demanded green energy only, then there’d be no need for carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes, subsidies, protests, flights to UN conferences, political campaigns or anything else. The problem would be solved if we only acted differently, instead of demanding laws.

If you judge people by their actions instead of their protests, you get a very different picture of what’s important to them. If it actually costs you something to prefer green energy in practice instead of protest, you may change your mind…

How many of the protesting children would give up computer games to go emissions neutral?

The Japanese and Austrians are quite clever about this sort of thing. They make sure certain behaviour takes place in the public arena so that you behave better. Or at least so you act in accordance with the principles and causes you claim to hold dear.

Nobody in Japan forgets to recycle their spotlessly clean tomato sauce jars. They even fold flat any plastic and paper, before tying it up in string. After my wife finishes her chips, she folds the pack into a tiny, tiny self-securing origami style shape. Why? To save space in the bin. Her family back home spend huge amounts of time flattening out any cartons and boxes.

The place you dump bring your rubbish to in Japan and Austria is a very public place, where your neighbours all see what you’re throwing away, how much it is and how you’ve packaged it. If they see you protesting about climate change one day, but dumping plastic bottles the next, you’re not going to be very well respected.

Now I do wonder how many protesting children were picked up by proud parents in SUVs on Friday afternoon, after their big day out. Children who don’t know how to recycle, turn off the light or take public transport. That was me, after all…

How many climate change protestors pay extra for green energy? Why is it that climate change is especially unpopular amongst those without the life experience of having to pay power bills at all?

Because trying to make others change their ways is much easier than changing your own. Which is the underlying problem I have with politics. It outsources the need to convince others to change their behaviour by simply making it compulsory. I think that’s immoral. The shame game is a better way to go.

The Italian Five Star movement believe in using techno-democratic decision-making to solve problems. They put everything to online polls and call it direct democracy. Which sounds good.

But this is precisely the opposite solution to having people solve their own problems. It makes everything everyone else’s business, instead of making everyone’s business their own and holding them responsible for it. People should pick up their own rubbish, instead of voting who should pick up someone else’s.

Why the climate change rant? For a very particular reason. There’s a more important movement underway. One of a very different nature.

I’m talking about what’s going on in the world of currencies. It’s the opposite of the climate change protests and Five Star’s innovation. It’s about actions from individuals as opposed to appeals for a collective action.

Crypto users aren’t asking the government to change the world

Cryptocurrency users aren’t asking for the government to change the world for them. They’re not appealing to politicians to solve problems. They’re not protesting about the injustices of fiat money and QE. They’re ignoring all that.

Instead, they’re busy doing the very thing they believe in. Making change happen, instead of demanding it.

I think that difference is something so powerful, you can’t overestimate it. It’s the difference between a successful movement and a failed one. Because people changing their behaviour is far more effective than campaigning for a law that changes others’ behaviour. It is inherently real and judged by action instead of noise.

Libertarians call this civil disobedience. Instead of campaigning for laws to be changed or repealed, just ignore laws like jaywalking, refuse to take public transport, drink unpasteurised milk, and live off the government’s utility grid.

Don’t say it, do it. Don’t appeal, act. Don’t protest, practice.

Using cryptocurrencies is much better than any civil disobedience I’ve ever come across though. Because it could dramatically affect your wealth in process.

Not only are you evading government mismanagement of the economy and currency, you’re benefitting from it. And as an early adopter of the future, you stand to gain.

Until next time,

Nick Hubble Signature

Nick Hubble,
For The Daily Reckoning Australia